Central Committee Decision concerning Launching Criticism and Self-Criticism in Newspapers

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(19 April 1950)

(1) Drawing the popular masses to openly criticize flaws and mistakes in our works in newspapers and periodicals, and educating Party members, and especially Party Cadres to conduct self-criticism concerning these flaws and mistakes in newspapers and periodicals, has become even more important and important at present. Because at present, the war on the mainland has come to an end, our Party is now leading the regime of the entire country, flaws and mistakes in our work can easily harm the interest of the broad people, and because of the position of regime leaders, and the rise of the prestige of the leaders, arrogant emotions easily come about, refusing criticism and suppressing criticism within and without the Party. Because of the emergence of these new situations, if we cannot openly and timely launch criticism and self-criticism in the entire Party and the broad people concerning the flaws and mistakes of our Party’s People’s Government and all economic organs and mass organizations, we will be poisoned by grave bureaucratism, and cannot complete the task of establishing the New China. Because of these reasons, the Central Committee has hereby decided: to launch criticism and self-criticism concerning all flaws and mistakes in our work in all open sites, within the popular masses, and especially in newspapers and periodicals.

(2) In order to openly and correctly launch criticism and self-criticism in newspapers and periodicals, we shall conduct education in the two aspects of inside the Party and among the people. First, it is necessary to educate Party members and especially cadres to understand: conducting criticism and self-criticism in newspapers and periodicals, is a necessary method to consolidate the integration of the Party with the People’s Government, guarantee the democratization of the Party and the country, and accelerate social progress. Causing the popular masses to be able to freely express their criticisms and suggestions concerning the Party and the People’s Government in newspapers and periodicals, even if these criticisms and suggestions are not completely mature or completely correct, they can also not be attacked or ridiculed because of this, and this is a critical step in raising the popular masses’ consciousness and vigour, and drawing the popular masses to eagerly participate in the undertaking of national construction. Because of this all Party levels’ leading organs and cadres must adopt an attitude of enthusiastically welcoming and firmly protecting criticism reflecting the opinions of the masses, and oppose a bureaucratist attitude of brushing the criticisms from the masses aside, limiting expression and attacking, retaliating against or ridiculing those expressing criticisms. This is the main aspect at present. Second, it is necessary to educate the editing personnel, journalists, reporters of newspapers and periodicals and the popular masses to differentiate correct criticism and destructive criticism. The criticism that we advocate, is criticism of the popular masses (and first and foremost workers and peasants) with stimulating and consolidating the undertaking of national construction as objectives, that is principled, constructive, and well-disposed, and it is not that sort of destructive criticism in order to oppose the people’s democratic system and the common programme, in order to destroy discipline and leadership, in order to attack confidence and enthusiasm in the advance of the popular masses, creating disheartened emotions and scattering splittist attitudes, and especially the talk of counterrevolutionaries to destroy the people’s democratic dictatorship should and must be rejected.

(3) In order to guarantee that criticism and self-criticism in newspapers and periodicals is able to be conducted smoothly and efficiently, the Central Committee has stipulated the following rules, and hopes that all levels’ Party Committees and Party newspaper workers realistically implement them:

A, All criticism published in newspapers and periodicals falls under the independent responsibility of the journalists and editors of the newspaper or periodical. In the past, a rule that was implemented in many locations was that contributions criticizing organizations and personnel of the Party and Government were submitted to the criticized organization and individual for consultation, and was only published after obtaining their agreement. This sort of rule, under the conditions that it was inconvenient to investigate during the war period, has avoided many criticism that did not completely conform to reality and that were inconsiderate, but continuing to adopt this sort of rule under the present conditions nevertheless does more harm than good, and is incorrect. From now on, newspaper and periodical personnel may still, and even should solicit opinion of the corresponding department in cases where they cannot decide truths and falsehoods by themselves, but as long as newspapers and periodicals affirm that this sort of criticism is basically correct, even if the agreement of the subject of criticism has not been sought or has not been obtained, they shall be responsible for publication.

B, Concerning contributions from worker and peasant reporters, the above rule applies in the same way. The work of worker and peasant reporters, apart from being led by newspapers, shall be assisted by the Party organization of the production work unit to which they belong. The situation of worker and peasant reporters’ activities shall be classified as an investigative newspaper work and the work of the Party in all production work units. No person may abuse their power to suppress the criticism of worker and peasant reporters in newspapers and periodicals, or retaliate against them.

C, Concerning positive criticism in letters from readers, all newspapers and periodicals can determine whether they are true, and shall publish them. Letter writers shall notify their real name and address to the publisher, but the publisher must keep them secret according to the requirements of the letter writers.

D, After criticisms are published in newspapers or periodicals, if their are completely verified, the subjects of criticism shall immediately state their acceptance in the same newspaper or periodical and openly correct the consequences of their mistakes. If a part is inaccurate, the subject of criticism shall immediately make a correction that seeks truth from facts in the same newspaper or periodical, and accept the correct part of the criticism. If the subject of criticism refuses to express his attitude, or attacks the critic, they shall be punished by the Party discipline inspection committee. The part of the above facts that violates law on administrative discipline, shall be punished by the State supervision organ and the judiciary organ.

(4) It is stipulated that Lenin’s “On the Nature of our Newspapers”, Stalin’s “On Self-Criticism” and “Opposing the Vulgarization of the Slogan of Self-Criticism”, comrade Mao Zedong’s “On Self-Criticism” and  the “CPSU 8th Party Congress Resolution Concerning Party and Soviet Newspapers” are to be study materials for all levels’ Party committees, Party newspapers and Party periodicals in discussing and implementing this Decision.

(5) This decision concerns the newspapers and periodicals led by the Party, but when newspapers and periodicals outside of the Party adopt a similar correct attitude to criticize Party organizations and personnel in a similar spirit, the Party shall also provide the required cooperation and support according to the same rules.

 

中共中央关于在报纸刊物上展开批评和自我批评的决定
( 一九五0年四月十九日)

(一)吸引人民群众在报纸刊物上公开地批评我们工作中的缺点和错误,并教育党员,特别是党的干部在报纸刊物上作关于这些缺点和错误的自我批评,在今天是更加突出地重要起来了。因为今天大陆上的战争已经结束,我们的党已经领导着全国的政权,我们工作中的缺点和错误很容易危害广大人民的利益,而由于政权领导者的地位,领导者威信的提高,就容易产生骄傲情绪,在党内党外拒绝批评,压制批评。由于这些新的情况的产生,如果我们对于我们党的人民政府的及所有经济机关和群众团体的缺点和错误,不能公开地及时地在全党和广大人民中展开批评与自我批评,我们就要被严重的官僚主义所毒害,不能完成新中国的建设任务。由于这样的原因,中共中央特决定:在一切公开的场合,在人民群众中,特别在报纸刊物上展开对于我们工作中一切错误和缺点的批评与自我批评。
(二)为了公开地并且在报纸刊物上正确地展开批评与自我批评,应当在党内和人民中进行两方面的教育。第一,要教育党员特别是干部认识:在报纸刊物上进行批评和自我批评,是为了巩固党与人民群众的联系、保障党和国家的民主化、加速社会进步的必要方法。使得人民群众能够自由地在报纸刊物上发表他们对于党和人民政府的批评和建议,纵然这些批评和建议并非完全成熟与完全正确,而他们也不会因此受到打击与嘲笑,乃是提高人民群众的觉悟性和积极性,吸引人民群众踊跃参加国家建设事业的严重步骤。因此党的各级领导机关和干部必须对于反映群众意见的批评采取热烈欢迎和坚决保护的革命态度,而反对对群众批评置之不理、限制发表和对批评者实行打击、报复与嘲笑的官僚主义态度。这在今天是主要的方面。第二,要同时教育报纸刊物的编辑人员、记者、通讯员和人民群众去区别正确的批评和破坏性的批评。我们所提倡的批评,乃是人民群众(首先是工人农民)以促进和巩固国家建设事业为目的的、有原则性有建设性的、与人为善的批评,而不是为着反对人民民主制度和共同纲领、为着破坏纪律和领导、为着打击人民群众前进的信心和热情,造成悲观失望情绪和散漫分裂状态的那种破坏性的批评。报纸刊物的编辑人员、记者、通讯员和试报组,应当欢迎和领导正确的批评而反对破坏性的批评。对于这种破坏性的批评,特别是反革命分子破坏人民民主专政的言论,则是应该而且必须加以拒绝的。
(三)为了保障在报纸刊物上的批评和自我批评得以顺利而有效地进行,中共中央特规定下列各项办法,望各级党委与党报工作者切实地加以执行:
甲、凡在报纸刊物上公布的批评,都由报纸刊物的记者和编辑负独立的责任。过去在许多地方曾经实行一种办法,就是把批评党和政府的组织与人员的稿件送给被批评的组织和人员阅看,在征得他们的同意后,才加以发表。这种办法,在战争期间调查不便的条件下,曾经避免了许多不完全符合实际的和不周到的批评,但是在现时的条件下继续采取这种办法却是害多利少的,不对的。在今后,报纸刊物的人员对于自己不能决定真伪的批评仍然可以而且应当征求有关部门的意见,但是只要报纸刊物确认这种批评在基本上是正确的,即令并未征求或并未征得被批评者的同意,仍然应当负责加以发表。
乙、对于工农通讯员的稿件,同样适用上述办法。工农通讯员的工作,除由报纸领导外,并应由所属生产单位的党的组织加以协助。工农通讯员的活动状况,应列为检查报纸工作和各生产单位党的工作的项目之一。任何人不得滥用权力压制工农通讯员在报纸刊物上的批评,或加以报复。
丙、读者来信中的有益的批评,凡报纸刊物能判断其为真实者,应当加以发表。投书者应将真实姓名住址告知报社,但报社得依投书者的要求代守秘密。
丁、批评在报纸刊物上发表后,如完全属实,被批评者应即在同一报纸刊物上声明接受并公布改正错误的结果。如有部分失实,被批评者应即在同一报纸刊物上作出实事求是的更正,而接受批评的正确部分。如被批评者担绝表示态度,或对批评者加以打击,即应由党的纪律检查委员会予以处理。上述情事触犯行政纪律的法律的部分,应由国家监察机关司法机关予以处理。
(四)规定列宁《论我们报纸底性质》,斯大林《论自我批评》、《反对把自我批评口号庸俗化》,毛泽东同志《论自我批评》,和《俄共(布)第八次代表大会关于党的和苏维埃的报刊的决议》作为各级党委和党报党刊在讨论和执行本决定时的学习资料。
(五)本决定于党所领导的报纸和刊物,但党外报纸和刊物在同样精神上采取向样正确的态度批评党的组织和人员时,党也应当按照同样的办法给予应有的合作和支持。

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